Man who won’t be Thursday

What does Darek Serówka have in common with the ancient scholars of Babylonia, Egypt, China and Greece – and particularly Archimedes? Common fascination with the irrational number p. It was during his math classes in high school that he would stare at the 34th decimal place of p’s estimated value hanging in color numbers above the blackboard and dream of discovering its exact value one day.

Once out of high school, he came to study at the then highly renowned WSB-NLU. Although his bachelor’s studies gave him a solid education, it was only during his master’s studies that a door to a completely new reality were opened before him. International Relations and Diplomacy (SMiD) – he recalls – was a major that combined both a truly unique curriculum and the most exceptional professors ever to be brought together in a single studies program. My master’s studies were a two-year period of constant amazement, a real eye-opener – mainly as to the vastness of my own lack of knowledge and ignorance; a period of fascination and desire to seek the truth.

The studies gave Darek a profound conviction that the reality is very rarely such as it seems to us at first glance. They lifted the curtain of media-delivered mush, to uncover the mechanisms of politics. Nowy Sącz was also the place where I had the fortune to meet a wonderful priest – a true shepherd of souls, father Jacek Siepsiak, and regain my faith in God.

Changed by the experience of SMiD studies, from which he graduated with honors, he decided to stay in Nowy Sącz. He became a teaching assistant at WSB-NLU and in 2004 taught his first course: discussion classes on 20th century history that complemented the lectures of one of the most distinguished historians, professor Andrzej Nowak. Teaching turned out to be Darek’s calling. As an assistant at the College of Political Studies, he was completely dedicated to his work: always finding the time for his students, encouraging open discussion, provoking young people to think independently and search their own answers; he was well liked and highly valued by the students. Anonymous evaluations at the completion of each course remain as proof of those high marks.

It was at WSB-NLU that I met my future wife. Three years later, while at a research stay in Washington D.C., Marta got an offer to work in Brussels. I went back to teaching but this year of a “long-distance relationship” made me realize that I do not want to live without Marta. “I had to go see about the girl” – to see if my love for her was more important than my love of teaching – and so I followed her to Belgium, where I work till this day, without ever losing hope of going back. I am the most lucky guy in the world, having the greatest wife in the whole of universe.

What I do as a job – that was fate’s calling, a chance, luck or – as I see it – God’s plan.

At first, he managed to get an internship with prof. Wojciech Roszkowski, who then served as a Member of the European Parliament, and a possible “target” in Darek’s efforts to find an adviser for his doctoral dissertation. Somehow it did not really work out, and by that time I was already completely overtaken by a translation into English of hundreds of documents on the Great Famine in Ukraine in the years 1932-1933. Their entire collection was later published by the Institute of National Remembrance in November 2009. In parallel, with good credentials, he started working for professor Jerzy Buzek, and when the latter was elected as the President of the European Parliament, he joined his cabinet. Today Darek still works in the EP, continuing his work in the area of development, being geographically responsible for the southern dimension of EU’s neighborhood policy, as well as the Middle East and Africa.

I do not like clubbing, I’m not a “kitesurfer”. I love reading.

Plans for the future?

Professional – being useful in serving the good of people. Personal – be the best husband and in the future – near future, he hopes – the best father.

Based on his master’s dissertation, he wrote a book: The Grand Sandpit. The role of the United States in the European Security and Defense Policy.